WCO-SACU Connect Project progressing: successful evaluation and monitoring visits carried out

21 September 2017

Under the auspices of the WCO-SACU Connect Project financed by Sweden, five monitoring and evaluation visits were carried out from 20th July to 4th August 2017 in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. The monitoring and evaluation visits were held by the Regional Project Managers of the WCO-SACU Connect Project, together with Member States (MS) Senior Management Teams, MS Cross-Functional Project Teams, MS Heads of Modernization and Strategy, and WCO-SACU Connect National Project Managers and Champions.

The visits were conducted according to the Project’s Annual Work Plan for 2017, and were in line with decision taken at the Project’s Steering Committee meeting held in November 2016, which outlined a number of activities to be undertaken to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the WCO-SACU Connect Project towards delivery on the set objectives, results and outcomes.

The WCO-SACU Connect Project aims to support the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Members to be better prepared to contribute to enhanced regional integration and trade facilitation through targeted and tailored capacity-building at both regional and national levels. The project, which entered into its second phase (2014-2018), is a direct response to the priorities and needs identified by the SACU region. The main objective of the project is to support the SACU Member Administrations to establish and administer a regional Preferred Trader Programme (PTP), focusing its support in IT Connectivity, Trade Partnerships, Risk Management & Enforcement, and Customs Legislative Reform. WCO-SACU Connect Project is managed by the WCO Secretariat and by the WCO-SACU Connect Regional Project Manager with the support of National Project Managers.  Key management decisions are taken by the Project Steering Committee with participants from the Member Administrations and  the WCO Secretariat.

During the monitoring and evaluation visits, the WCO-SACU Connect Regional Project Manager and the Senior Management Teams worked determinedly to review the project progress status per component, highlighting achievements, challenges and proposed solutions, and identifying recommendations to be made to the Project’s Steering Committee meeting. Furthermore, key discussions were held around the Project Exit Strategy in preparation for the end of the project in December 2018.

The outcomes of these monitoring and evaluation visits will serve to inform the Project’s Progress Report that will be presented at the next Steering Committee meeting due to take place in November 2017.  As a result, key decisions are expected to be made, which will contribute to improve the project implementation and coordination at Member State level, and improve management of key dependencies between project components.

For more information about the WCO-SACU Connect Project, please contact WCO-Sweden Programme Director, Mr. Richard Chopra, Richard.Chopra@wcoomd.org